It has been nine years since Navarro has had more rushing than passing yards in a season. Unless the Bulldogs have a passing explosion against Blinn on Saturday in Brenham, they’ll turn that trick this year.

But it hasn’t been by design. Many of those 125 rushes quarterback Jeremy Sanders has had this season have been passing plays that broke down because of poor protection or Sanders taking off a little early.

That will have to change if Navarro is to win at Blinn and then advance in the postseason. Navarro quarterbacks have completed a league-worst 41 percent of their passes and 105.5 yards per game. Sanders is sixth in the conference with 579 yards through the air and only one touchdown compared to four interceptions. Backup Jarrett Beal has completed just 7 of 26 passes for 167 yards. The one positive statistic is Navarro quarterbacks average an interception every 40 attempts, second-best in the conference.

If the passing game begins to click, perhaps the Bulldogs’ scoring fortunes will change. Navarro has only one offensive touchdown since the first half of its second conference game. The Bulldogs have scored only three points in the second half of its six league contests.

Navarro head coach Chuck Lawrence says much of the Bulldogs’ problems have stemmed from injuries and youth.

“The offensive line has been beat up all season,” said Lawrence, who had four line starters out of practice during the off week. “It’s hard to get any kind of continuity when you’ve got guys moving in an out like that.

“We’ve had line problems, but we’ve also made some very poor decisions. We’ve been taking sacks that take us out of field goal range, we’ve had penalties at critical times or we’ve had turnovers that have changed field position or ruined a good drive. But when you are as young as we are on that side of the ball, you’ve got to expect some of those mistakes. However, it’s time to learn from our mistakes and not do the same things again. We have to start playing smart on offense. When we do, we’ll move the football and we’re going to score.

“The ability and talent is there. We just have to put it all together. Saturday would be a great time to do that.”

Sanders leads all conference quarterbacks with 347 yards and seven touchdowns rushing. But he has one more carry than leading rusher Ruppert Edwards (467 yards), a figure that Lawrence says shouldn’t be so high.

“We’re still working with Jeremy to view the field and make better decisions about when to run and when to throw the football,” Lawrence said. “Of course, the offensive line problems have not helped. But we still take some sacks that have pushed us back five yards and a manageable field goal gets a little bit tougher. Sometimes, we have to make that decision to throw the ball or away or head north and south instead of laterally to the line of scrimmage.

“We saw just what Jeremy could do against Tyler (more than 300 total yards, four touchdowns). He can do that consistently. He has the ability. When he does, our offense can be on a roll.”

Lawrence would love to see that Saturday against the top-ranked defense in the conference.

“We’ve been working hard, though we’ve had quite a few people missing on the line during practice,” he said. “Our offense has moved the ball this year. It’s just been all the mental mistakes that have killed us. If we eliminate those mistakes, we can finish off those drives with touchdowns instead of trying long field goals. If we get past those mental errors, we will be OK on offense, just like we should be.”

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